Another USB token approach, this time from Feitian Technologies, a company based in Beijing, China. The ePass2000 product comes attractively packaged with the software, printed user's guide, a USB token (in this case the ePass2000 with 1024-bit key functionality), overview brochures and even a mouse mat. This may give an impression of an off-the-shelf consumer oriented product, but the ePass offering is actually quite comprehensive.

As a method of easily digitally signing and encrypting email messages in a secure manner, this type of product is well suited, and the ePass documentation steps you through such an application in fine detail. The concise but excellent manual then proceeds to application development and explains compatibility with PKCS#11 and CSP for Microsoft CryptoAPI 2.0 interfaces.

With clear diagrams to explain both the Windows smartcard sub system and CryptoAPI architecture, it then proceeds to list function calls grouped logically together for the benefit of the application developer. You begin to get the impression that this product is more flexible than you first imagined.

Onboard security algorithms include RSA, DES, triple-DES, DSA, MD5 and SHA-1, and supported operating systems include Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, NT4, Mac OS 8/9 and Linux. An ePass2000 Manager utility provides token configuration, certificate management and related facilities via an intuitive interface, and all supplied software installed cleanly on the test system. The token itself features a bright green glowing LED to remind you it is still connected, and a USB extension lead is provided for those with rear facing USB ports on their PCs.

This is an interesting product. The sort of 'do it yourself' no-frills approach will appeal to those who understand the world of PKI and certificates and wish to define their own security environment precisely. Feitian Technologies have provided a useful toolkit with which to accomplish just such a task, together with good printed documentation and everything you need in terms of hardware and software, including sample files within the supplied SDK. This package will appeal to the dedicated desktop or workstation user as well as the application developer. A slightly unusual but very welcome product.

Product title
Product info
Name: ePass2000 (Smartcard group test) Description: Price: $40
Good concise documentation and software tools.
Maybe not for the inexperienced.
  An interesting and capable tool set for providing digital security. Also supports SSL communications, digital signatures and Windows 2000 logon.

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